I have been blogging about the basic requirement that preachers should themselves evidence growing fruit of the Spirit in life and ministry. It is a disaster when the truth of the gospel is undermined by a perceived lack of Christlike character in the preacher.
So we’ve gone through the fruit of the Spirit in pairs, but we skipped the first. Or did we? Perhaps the four pairs lay out what that first fruit looks like.
It shows in the joy that comes from resting in the goodness of God, and the peace of healthy ordered relationships with God and others.
It is patient in trusting God’s work in the lives of others who often need longer than we feel is necessary (just as we do too!), with a kindness that is giving for the good of those also still in process.
It has an inherent goodness that reflects the profound quality of God’s character, as well as the gentleness that is fitting for someone reflecting God’s manner of authority.
It has a faithfulness that speaks of both trusting and persisting for that which is good and right, while always retaining the appropriate self-control of a life lived in the desires of the Spirit rather than the impulses of the flesh.
We have had several interrupted nights in a row as a virus has worked through our family. The loss of sleep does add a certain strain to daily life! Under pressure, does the fruit of the Spirit show? I’m sure I am not the only one who wishes it showed more. But the solution isn’t to strain in my own effort to look good under pressure, the solution is to grow as one walking in step with the Spirit. I hope that my preaching next week, next year, in twenty years time, will show a more Christlike personality than it does now. I’m sure I’m not the only one.